Bavarian Illuminati was an Enlightenment society founded on May 1st, 1776 in Ingolstadt (Upper Bavaria), by Jesuit-taught Adam Weishaupt.
The movement was made up of freethinkers. The group’s adherents were given the name “Illuminati”, although they called themselves “Perfectibilists”.
The rituals were of a rationalistic and not occult nature. Status as a freemason was not required for initiation into the Order of Illuminati since the fourth, fifth and sixth degrees of Weishaupt and Baron Adolphe-François-Frederic Knigge’s system practically duplicated the three degrees of symbolic Freemasonry. Although Knigge claimed to have a system of ten degrees (modeled upon the Tree of Life’s Sephiroth), the last two appear never to have been fully worked up.
Following is a short list of the more notable members:
Adam Weishaupt Professor †
Adolph Von Knigge Baron †
Xavier von Zwack Lawyer, judge and electoral councillor †
Christoph Friedrich Nicolai [Nicholai] Bookseller †
Westenrieder Professor †
Hertel Canon †
Thomas Maria De Bassus Baron †
Johann Simon Mayr Composer
Dietrich Mayor of Strasbourg
Johann J. C. Bode Privy councillor ‡
William von Busche Baron ‡
Saint Germain compte de §
de Constanzo Marquis
Ferdinand of Brunswick Duke *
Ernst of Gotha Duke *
Johann W. Goethe author *
There was a process because of the course accusations of Barruel and Robison which leaded to the Edicts on June 22, 1784, for the Order’s suppressio signed by the Elector of Bavaria, Duke Karl Theodor, repeated in March and August, 1785.
Weishaupt was deprived of his chair and banished with pension from the country. He refused the pension and moved to Regenburg, subsequently finding asylum with Ernst II, the Count of Saxe-Gotha. Weishaupt was later appointed a professor at the University of Gottingen, remaining there until his death on 18 November 1830.
Outside of Bavaria numerous factors contributed to create the same general impression in the public mind. Among these were the efforts of the Rosicrucians to play upon the fears that the Illuminati had awakened, the mistaken connections which, in the Protestant world, were commonly made between the members of the Order of the Illuminati and the representatives and promoters of the Aufklärung, and the emergence of the German Union. To each of these in turn a word must be devoted.
The Order was a real European movement and enrolled no less than two thousand names upon its registers. Its Lodges were to be found in France, Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Sweden, Poland, Hungary, and Italy.
Heroes of the French Revolution – like de Rochefoucauld, Condorcet, Pétion, the Duke of Orléans (Grand Master of French Masonry), Camille-Desmoulins, Danton, Lafayette, de Leutre, Fauchet, et al. – through these and their associates realized the connection between the lodges of Illuminated French Freemasonry, thus Aufklärung, the Illuminism was able to inspire Jacobinism, with an approach of “cosmopolitanism” increasing the popular interest of the period in mysticism, theosophy, cabala, and genuine science.
In modern time, notable people were members of the Modern Illuminati. Among them, Masons as Winston Churchill, David Rockefeller and Zbigniew Brzezinski, and the Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO) founded by Theodor Reuss, and later restructured by Aleister Crowley. Another line is the Grand Lodge Rockefeller founded by David Goldman, Orden Illuminati founded by Gabriel López de Rojas, The Illuminati Order, and others.
Reference: wiki; the Grand Lodge of Columbia and Yukon
The dawn of Martinism began with the Jacques de Livron Joachim de la Tour de la Casa Martinez de Pasqually in 1765 he established the Ordre des Chevelier Maçons Élus Cohen de L’Univers, with three sets of degrees. In the highest degree, the Reaux-Croix, the initiate was taught to use Theurgy to contact spiritual realms beyond the physical. In his only book, Treatise on the Reintegration of Human Beings he uses the analogy of the Garden of Eden, and refers to Christ as “The Repairer”.
Louis Claude de Saint-Martin was initiated into the Reaux-Croix, the highest degree of the Order, and in 1770 became De Pasqually’s secretary. He personally favoured inward contemplation, or what he called “The Way of the Heart”, drewing inspiration from the work of Jakob Boehme.
After Saint-Martin, Jean-Baptiste Willermoz was initiated in a lodge which operated under the auspices of the Strict Observance, working in the Knight Templar-oriented milieu of the masonic rite. The occultist A.E. Waite said of the Scottish Rectified Rite that he “had come to see the Régime Ecossais et Rectifié. The name of the rite was changed to Chevaliers Beneficient De La Cité-Sainte (CBCS), in considerable opposition from other branches of the Strict Observance, such as the Bavarian Illuminati of Adam Weishaupt.
The disciples of Saint-Martin spread the Doctrine of the Unknown Philosopher – a form of mystical or esoteric Christianity – in France, Germany, Denmark and above all in Russia. It was through one of them, Henri Delaage, that in 1880 a brilliant young Parisian doctor, Gerard Encausse (Later to be known as Papus), in 1884, together with some of his associates, they established a Mystical Order which he called the Ordre Martiniste or the Martinist Order.
The second World War was as disastrous for the Order in Europe as the first. The Nazi regime suppressed all ‘occult’ groups and many Martinists died in concentration camps. The OMT in Europe and its American branch, the Traditional Martinist Order (TMO) still exists, but are reserved exclusively for members of AMORC (R+C).
sources: wiki; Rose†Croix Martinist Order (Ontario, Canada)